An interview with ModeAudio’s Niall McCallum on the fantastic samples, loops and presets site for musicians

ModeAudio offers a massive collection of eclectic sample packs and sounds for producers and musicians, and we talked to co-founder Niall McCallum on running such a vast and brilliant music resource.

What inspires you to create sample packs, loops, kits and more for electronic producers?

Primarily, everything stems from my love for music, plain and simple! For me, it’s one of the most important things in life and can offer so much to people in so many different situations, from humble entertainment to respite during a hard time – it’s modern-day magic if you ask me!

I want to help and inspire people to make music for this reason above all others, from the relatively small group of musicians who are lucky enough to be able to make money from their own productions, right up to the hundreds of thousands of bedroom producers out there just doing it for the love of it.

How do you go about sourcing and creating the awesome sounds that you offer in your packs, especially with such variety between each one?

Naturally, this is particular to the release in question but we’re mainly drawing on our selection of acoustic instruments, synths, field recordings, custom DSP patches and digital plugins, as well as anything and everything that might happen to be laying around in the studio, from cans of juice to cutlery and I even sampled a metal radiator for our latest release, Outlook!

Has music always played a big part in your life or was it something you discovered later in life?

It has been part of things for a long time, since I first started piano lessons when I was a kid. It wasn’t till I started playing guitar and drums at secondary school that music became an all-consuming passion, though, as well as the discovery of the first DAW I ever learned to use, Reason.

I’ve moved from my earlier Pop and Rock phases at school, through to Indie, Experimental, Ambient and Classical at university and since on to House, Hip Hop and everything in between – it’s pretty handy being into most styles of music in this line of work.

What do you think of the way that the music industry is transforming with the focus moving towards digital platforms and, in particular, the boom of music streaming?

Well, I think this trend comes with a lot of inherent problems – in fact I was just listening to Gerry Read being interviewed on Gilles Peterson’s [BBC Radio] 6 Music show a few weekends ago, where he talked about how he’s actually a butcher by day! I think it’s alarming that someone as talented as he is isn’t able to find a way to make a living solely from his music and I do believe that the low pay-out rates on streaming services is part of the problem.

At the same time though, for the listener, these services are nothing short of a revelation – access to unparalleled quantities of every conceivable type and flavour of music for free, or at most, a pretty modest sum would be a pretty unbelievable proposition to a kid growing up even 20 years ago. I think there’s more work to be done to make the deal fairer for artists but I think most would agree that it’s better than when P2P ruled all!

Whilst I’m sure you’re proud of every pack you have to offer, are there any in particular that you personally think really brings something unique and powerful to the table?

I think our found percussion packs offer something really interesting and unusual, such as Klang, Raw Material and Undercover, which can be used either as they come in the pack or warped and twisted into a beautiful new shapes with relative ease. Our ambient and textural packs are something I’m very proud of too, from Hover and Distant Echo to Pour, Remnant, Disintegrate and beyond, as again I think producers can get so much out of them either as they come or with a little extra processing.

As you say though, really I’m extremely proud of everything we release and think our packs offer consistent quality, flexibility and value. We leave it to our users to make the final call though!

What is your favourite music coming out at the moment, and does the music you listen to inspire some of the packs you create?

Absolutely – it’s the number one thing that inspires our packs in fact. There’s too much to mention here to be totally honest, though I’ll give a shout out to Bonobo’s latest album Migration and Kaytranada’s 99.9%, plus recent tunes from Knxwledge, Anderson .Paak, Thundercat, Radiohead, Tycho, Clap! Clap! and Leon Vynehall as particular favourites.

Finally, what would you say to all the aspiring musicians and artists out there using sites like yours to create great new music?

Keep doing what you’re doing! The only way to improve at anything is to practise, practise, then practise some more – use our loops if you’re starting out and build around them, or some of our samples into a sampler or apply some whacky processing to our synth drones and textures if you’re more advanced – there’s inspiration of some kind to be found in every millisecond!

ModeAudio samples packs sounds sample music production producer DJ

Head over to now to claim a massive free pack and experiment with some entirely new sounds using a 10% discount code on the massive variety of samples and packs ModeAudio have to offer.

Discount Code: ROUTE10

“ModeAudio aims to deliver audio tools that sound incredible, are available instantly and that will integrate seamlessly with your favourite music software. To cut swiftly to the chase, as music producers and sound designers ourselves we really only care about sound quality and ease of use. To this end, we’ve packed as much of our musical and technical knowledge into each and every one of our packs as humanly possible – we hope our passion and dedication will be plain to hear and see. If a sound or preset of ours helps to inspire your music, then we’ll consider our job done.”

No Hot Ashes release smashing new single ‘Bellyaches’ – Review

Up and coming band ‘No Hot Ashes’ from Manchester have just dropped a toe tapping new single this month with their new track ‘Bellyaches’. The Mancunian Rock Group have startled us again with a hot new track that’s definitely worth a listen!

The RouteNote team are big fans of No Hot Ashes. Ever since coming on the scene around  2015, they have been a band we have been extremely excited about and followed closely. After hearing there was to be a new single, we couldn’t wait to hear it.

‘Bellyaches’ came out yesterday and rocked the music scene with its fascinating new sound. The pure Manchester rock sound mixed with new electronic vibes makes for an exciting ensemble and with a catchy chorus it really does stick in your head.

One of the sounds I really picked out as making the whole sound complete is echo-ey background vocals throughout the chorus. It really supports the raw lead vocals in completing the big sound of the chorus. Along with the synths filling out the background while the vocals, bass and guitar stay punchy and strong.

This new single features cover art by Florence Burns, and with a vibrant funky image of someone sinking into a cocktail glass it really does draw you and make you wonder what music lies beneath it. And indeed it does represent the funked up single quite well. The guys say themselves “Florence is just as important as the music we play in terms of completing that creative process.”

The new single features a range of sounds from the very prominent punchy bass line to the high pitch electronic sounds from the synths and guitar, this is turn makes their new sound, very fresh. In comparison this single is much more electronic and vibrant whereas some previous releases such as ‘Goose’ and ‘Skank’ are much more stripped down and clean.

‘No Hot Ashes’ are a 4 piece band from Manchester who back in 2015 were hitting it hot on their local seen with their funk rock grooves. Since then they have expanded with gigs in Cardiff and Dublin. Their sound is needless to say electrifying and really does draw your ears in to find out more.

No Hot Ashes

No Hot Ashes manchester band music funk rock pop interview digital music distribution routenote

Read our interview with the No Hot Ashes lads here:

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Remember the dead by pressing their ashes into vinyl records with And Vinyly

And Vinyly is a new company that wants to help you stay close to the dead through the power of music, and the power of putting their cremated ashes into a vinyl record.

‘And Vinyly’ is a UK company started by Jason Leach over 6 years ago that puts the ashes of your loved ones into vinyl records for a unique way to remember them. The company accepts ashes, whether it be a whole person, just a body part (for burials and accidents), and pets for their musical, posthumous transformation.

The company takes a light-hearted approach to the morbid service, even offering ‘FUNeral’ packages where they will host your funeral with music and jokes. And Vinyly has “10 steps to immortality” when you use their services, step 6 is a goody.

  1. Confirm with us your location and the viability of these services in your area
  2. Identify a family member or a chosen representative who will accompany you (your ashes) to the pressing of your records
  3. Establish audio and cover art content
  4. Attend the mastering of your record
  5. Receive playable proof sample of your record and cover
  6. Die
  7. Get Cremated
  8. Your family member or chosen representative books and attends the sprinkling and pressing of your records
  9. Your chosen recipients will be sent details of where to collect their copy of your personal record
  10. Live on from beyond the groove

It’s not a cheap way to be remembered but it’s certainly a way to make sure you’re never forgotten. The price of getting your remains vinylized starts at around £3000.

A recent video detailing the efforts of a man trying to preserve his mother’s recollections that she had recorded before death and finding the perfect solution in And Vinyly shows the emotional benefits of the company and how it can be used not just as a novelty but as a beautiful memory of those who have passed.

Check the site out for yourself and, if you’re interested, sign up to be turned into vinyl from:

Get thousands of quality samples and sounds with ModeAudio + RouteNote discount code

ModeAudio is home to thousands of premium samples and sounds for producers of all varieties, with a massive free taster pack and a RouteNote discount code!

ModeAudio is a site filled with amazing sample packs, Synth presets, Ableton Live packs and much more. ModeAudio have been kind enough to offer a discount through RouteNote so that on top of all the amazing deals you can get 10% off of all purchases so that you can get your creative juices flowing with some awesome new sounds!

Check the bottom of the page for your discount code and find out more about ModeAudio’s brilliant resources, as well as a giant 650MB pack of quality sounds you can get for FREE:

ModeAudio is a dedicated team of sound designers who share a bursting enthusiasm for making the very best music loops, samples, sampler patches and synth presets for your music as humanly possible.

As music producers ourselves, we know that only instantly-useable, versatile, inspiring and full-flavour sounds will do – there’s simply no time for anything else.

We’re passionate about every step of the process in creating our custom, royalty-free sound packs, which are all designed with one common goal in mind – to inspire and enhance the sheer explosive fun of making music!

Try Our Sounds For Free

We offer an exclusive free download of our royalty-free sounds to producers and musicians signing up to our newsletter, packed with 650MB of loops, samples, synth presets and field recordings taken from 33 of our most popular sound pack releases.

Our newsletter is sent weekly and updates you about all things ModeAudio, including new releases, our latest music production tutorials, competitions, reviews, special offers and more.

All you have to do to access the free sounds is hit the link below and enter your email address:

More Sounds For Less

As well as offering our free 650MB label sampler, we’re currently running a 3 for 2 deal across our entire catalogue of sounds. No code is required to apply this discount to your cart, just add 3 packs and you’ll receive the cheapest for free.

Finally as a token of our gratitude for your interest in our sounds, we’d like to offer you an additional 10% off all purchases, which can also be used in conjunction with our 3 for 2 deal.

Discount Code: ROUTE10

Big savings, more sounds, better music. Get started now!

ModeAudio’s collection includes a gigantic range of packs with something to satisfy all types of producers and musicians. Here are just some of the top notch packs you can get:

ModeAudio samples packs sounds sample music production producer DJ

Head over to now to claim your massive free pack and experiment with some entirely new sounds using your discount code on the massive variety of samples and packs ModeAudio have to offer.

RouteNote Interviews: Catching up with No Hot Ashes

RouteNote Interviews

Back in 2015 we spoke to four talented lads from Manchester about their quickly rising band No Hot Ashes. Fusing funk, rock and pop the band have shown no sign of stopping since and with a hot new single releasing later this month we caught up with where they guys have been and where they’re heading next.

First of all let’s catch up from the last time we spoke back in 2015. You guys had just released your single Easy Peeler and looked set to take over Manchester with your gritty funk. What have you been up to since as a band?

Hello! – well “Easy Peeler” went down really well and was a good stepping stone for us, it is now a firm favourite in our live set and we always get the fans singing back the words. Since then we have played the likes of Kendal Calling, YNot Festival, Tramlines Festival and supported some great bands like Spring King, Walking on Cars, Prides and The Amazons. We also released another single “Cool Cat” in early 2016 and that has had such a great reception too.

Last time I spoke to you, your aim for 2016 was to expand outside of Manchester and start playing further afield. Were you able to fulfil your ambitions last year?

We definitely have. 2016 took us all around the country, we gigged in so different parts of the UK and it was great to get out of Manchester and meet new people who now love our music. Cardiff was a particular highlight (Hoyfest 2016) and it was also the furthest we had travelled. We are continuing that into 2017 and one of our first gigs of the year is in Dublin so we are aiming to carry on travelling around the country to spread our music.

Your upcoming single “Bellyaches” is great and I can hear some new sounds for you lads in the music. What inspired your new single and was the creative process for this track any different to creating your other tracks?

The writing process for “Bellyaches” didn’t change at all, like with all our songs it usually starts with Isaac & Lui coming up with a guitar based melody or chords and then bringing it to the practice room for the full band to come together and structure the song. Once we get into the studio we let Gavin Monaghan (Editors, The Twang, Ocean Colour Scene) our producer work his magic and he really pushes each of us to play the best we can and also suggesting ideas to build the song and really beef up the mix.

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The cover for upcoming single ‘Bellyaches’ featuring art by Florence Burns

We owe a lot to him for making us better musicians and songwriters. Each time we come out of the studio we have developed and took away something to make the next song we write even better.

With your popularity continuously rising, how has that affected the chemistry between you all as a band?

In terms of friendship, nothing has changed. We all bounce of each other and there is a special bond we all have from being in a band together and we always have a good time when we are travelling and staying over in different cities. In terms of professionalism we have all got a lot more clued up and have had to make the sacrifices that come with being in a band.

It isn’t a nice job at times and a lot of the time there is very little reward behind the scenes but gigging and recording is really what makes us buzz, being creative and getting that rush on stage.

You’ve always emphasised as a band your enjoyment in playing live. Is playing gigs still your favourite part of being in the band and how has that changed as the audiences get bigger?

Performing is still the best part of being in the band for us. Especially hometown gigs where we can sell out 200cap venues and have a load of mental 14+ year olds jumping at the front, you can’t help but smile at times like cos` that is the biggest reward you can get. Each time we gig in Manchester the crowds seem to get bigger and more rowdy and that is just the way we like it. Hopefully we are now starting to mirror that in other cities.

Alongside that we really enjoy the studio, more specifically our Producer Gavin and his Magic Garden Studio. The place is our second home and we try to get back and record with him as soon as our band fund allows us to. Being able to drop your Job/University normal life and spend days in the studio concentrating on your music and being in a totally creative and experimental atmosphere is just a great feeling and Gavin & Joe (Engineer/Mixing) really understand us as musicians and since day one we have all got on incredibly well as people as well as musicians.

No Hot Ashes manchester band music funk rock pop interview digital music distribution routenote

2017 has only just begun and is looking to start off as a big one with “Bellyaches” releasing soon. What are your plans for the rest of the year?

We get really stir crazy once we have just released so in true NHA fashion we are going straight back into the Magic Garden to work on new material. We can’t wait to release “Bellyaches” and we all agree that musically and commercially it is the best song we have written to date (although we say that after every release) but all jokes aside we are really excited to show people what we have been working on and a big shout out to Florence Burns who does all of our artwork/branding for making the whole release so complete.

We love to create a real concept and feel to each release and Florence is just as important as the music we play in terms of completing that creative process.

Finally, what would you want to say to all your fans out there?

Big love to you all, you are the reason we do what we do and please keep buying our merch otherwise we can’t afford to eat and dress ourselves.

Much Love


Isaac, Luigi, Jack & Matthew

No Hot Ashes manchester band music funk rock pop interview digital music distribution routenote

No Hot Ashes new single ‘Bellyaches’ releases on the 20th February. Be sure to catch it for even more funky goodness!

No Hot Ashes

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